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  1. #1

    Question Seeking story: aliens travel massive distances by creating "copies" of themselves

    Does this ring a bell for anyone?

    Short story set in the future - aliens come to Earth, and bring us the technology they use to travel massive interstellar distances. Nanobots (I think) scan the entire body and brain, then create a physical copy in the far-off place; the original "copy" then dies.

    In the story, a woman agrees to be one of the first humans to undergo the process, but something goes wrong. Her copy is created, but her original self doesn't die. This violates the aliens' rule that there can only be one copy of a person in existence, so the guy running the operation is ordered to kill the (original) woman.

    This is a convoluted description, but the basic themes of the story were about what constitutes a person's self and soul, and whether a perfect physical copy is, for all intents and purposes, that same person. It was really interesting, and I can't seem to find it anywhere. Does anyone know what it is, and where I might find it?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Perth Western Australia
    'Think Like A Dinosaur' by James Patrick Kelly. It was made into an 'The Outer Limits' episode too.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by B5B7 View Post
    'Think Like A Dinosaur' by James Patrick Kelly. It was made into an 'The Outer Limits' episode too.
    Ahhhh thank you thank you thank you!!! That's exactly what it was. I've been going nuts over this for weeks and you solved it in under 12 hours.

  4. #4
    A chuffing heffalump Chuffalump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Darlington, UK
    You could also read Waystation by Clifford D. Simak.

  5. #5
    Ah Clem
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Lost in anamnesis, cannot forget my way out
    Seek out this gem of a short story: "The Phantom of Kansas" by John Varley. In a world where people can regularly visit a clinic to make mental 'backups' of themselves which can be transferred to body-clones in the case of untimely death... a woman drops by for the routine scan and dozes off... and awakens surrounded by technicians. They inform her that she is a restored backup, her original self had been murdered. What's more, she is the second restored self, the first had been murdered also. Can she prevent the killer from striking again? And again?

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